Tutorial // 2 stunning handmade gift tag DIYs

I like to use different mediums depending on my mood (could you tell already?)... So today, we're taking a simple tag design and using 2 different processes to create different looks...

First up, here's the design I'm using today... a simple "with love" tag suitable for Christmas or birthdays - for any gift at all...

I've drawn a basic script font by hand, but you could easily use any computer generated font, print it off and trace it, if you prefer.
Map out the size of your tag around this (or you can do this step first if you prefer).

This version is very pretty and soft, with a wash of colour and our font will be left clear of paint courtesy of drawing gum.

What you need:

Get started by copying your design onto your paper - I'm doing this the old fashioned way by   covering the reverse side in pencil, and then tracing onto the paper by drawing over my original design... mark the corners of your tag, so that this is easy to come back and cut out later.

Now take your fine water colour brush and carefully fill in the letters using your drawing gum (don't forget to give the bottle a good shake before you get started).

Leave this aside to dry completely.
Next, decide what colours you want to use. I'm going for soft pinks (diluted Cadmium Red).

Take your large watercolour brush and wash over the top of your to your hearts content...

Again, leave this to dry. Just a reminder that your watercolour will dry to a lighter shade, so make sure you up the intensity if you want a bold result.

Once thoroughly dry, use an eraser to remove the gum...

Carefully cut out your tag shape and punch a hole at the top... et voila!

Lino Print
Well it's been a while since I've done much print making, but it is so rewarding - once you've made your print you can keep printing forever! For whatever reason, I find this immensely satisfying!

What you need:

First we need to transfer our design onto our lino, but this time, it will need to be in reverse. So, same rule applies, I go for the old school method of rubbing pencil over the text, and then drawing through from the wrong side - super simple.

Then you're going to need to start cutting. We're going to carve out the letters, so again, the text is going to be free of ink, leaving the paper to show through.

Now if you're like me and a little rusty on your lino cutting skills, some reminders for you...
Less is more when it comes to applying pressure - too much pressure, you'll dig to deep and literally be in a rut. Lighter pressure will allow you to create smoother lines.
Sounds obvious, but keep your fingers out of the way :) and keep your cutter moving away from you.
Start around the outsides of the letters using a narrow cutter, (I used #1) and then go back and remove the centre using a slightly wider cutter. You can then go back and tidy up any edges or lines that aren't quite right.
If you make a little mistake don't worry about it - this is going to be handmade and original and that is an amazing gift for someone in itself.

Once you're happy with your letters, it's time to get printing
Put a little ink on your plastic tray (wrong side up tends to be easiest) and start rolling it out with your roller. You want to roll in different directions and make sure that ink has gone right around the full roller evenly - when it's good, it will make a really good velcro-like sticking sound.
Now roll this over your lino design.

Wash your roller thoroughly in water and then dry completely with a lint free cloth.
Lay your paper over the lino cut. Hold the paper in place and firmly roll over the top with your roller, ensuring that you use even pressure and thoroughly cover the surface of the lino. I like to roll in both directions, just make sure you really keep that paper in one place.

Once you're satisfied, peel back your paper carefully...

and you're done! And what's more, you can just keep printing... and printing...

And the best part  you just wash the ink of your lino cut and dry it... ready to use another day.

Once everything is dry, cut out your tag shape and attach your ribbons... Who knows, it could become your signature gift wrapping thing!

Sarita xx

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